Meal Prep Hacks for the Holidays

I love chicken–it is delicious and works as a healthy protein in nearly every dish. One thing I hate: cooking chicken. Many of my coworkers assumed I must be a pescatarian since I rely so heavily on tuna and plant-based proteins, but really it is my sheer distaste for touching raw meat. Not to mention the added cooking time! I’ve gotten burnt out from other protein options and I am desperate for a healthy easy protein to add to lunches and dinners.

I was thrilled to find the new USDA-certified Coastal Range Organics Chicken products.  I love these products because I know they are never made with any antibiotics, hormones or steroids. The chicken is fed 100% organic vegetarian feed without animal by-products and raised free-range. This is the only frozen chicken brand I feel confident eating–it is free of artificial ingredients and preservatives, unlike so many of the other brands (read the labels!). It is nice to have reassurance that you can actually get some goodness from your freezer with Coastal Range Organics. They also make make a variety of other products: crispy stripsbuffalo wingschicken nuggets, and chicken burgers .

I decided to make a fall themed pumpkin risotto with the delicious grilled chicken strips. It only took 20 minutes start to finish–perfect for a quick dinner or meal prep.

Ingredients:
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Black pepper
1 tsp Maple syrup
1 tsp Apple cider vinegar
Pumpkin, roasted and puréed
2 servings Coastal Range Organics Grilled Chicken Strips
1 bag Miracle Noodle rice

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) Arrange 2 servings of your Coastal Range Grilled Chicken on a lined cookie sheet.
3) while oven is preheating, preparing Miracle Noodle rice according to directions on the bag.
4) Place chicken in preheated oven and set timer for 10 minutes.

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5) In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, spices, vinegar, and maple syrup. Combine well.
6) Add Miracle rice to pumpkin mixture and stir until thoroughly mixed.
7) Remove chicken from oven and add into rice mixture.

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8) Enjoy! I actually served this dish over romaine to get in an extra serving of veggies.

Use code HANNAHNOV for a discount when you order from Miracle Noodle.

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Do you eat chicken frequently? What are your favorite healthy cooking hacks?

Disclaimer: Coastal Range Organics sponsored this review, however this post represents my honest thoughts and opinions

Herb Infused Stuffed Squash

I recently received garlic herb Miracle Noodles and I was dying to use them in a fall inspired dish. I had a delicata squash to use and after I had such success with my last stuffed squash dish, I couldn’t resist running with this variation.

This screams comfort food to me; it’s a hearty blend of fall flavors, herbs, and garlic. I always love cooking and the inspiration struck me around 8pm after I had already made dinner so it became two days of lunches. This is also surprisingly budget friendly–a perk of eating seasonally that goes beyond the environmental benefits! (Delicata squash are only $.99 at Trader Joe’s!)

Ingredients:

1 delicata squash

1 tbsp canned pumpkin

1 tbsp broth

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp amore foods garlic paste

1 bag garlic herb miracle noodles

1 small bunch green onions

1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped

Directions:

1) Puncture delicata squash skin with a fork and cook in microwave on high for 4 minutes.

2) While the squash is cooking, prepare Miracle Noodles according to directions on the bag.

3) Heat coconut oil in a small skillet on the stove and briefly sauté green onions and mushrooms until tender.

4) In a separate bowl, mix pumpkin, broth, and garlic paste.

5) Add the pumpkin mix to the stir fried veggies and noodles and mix well.

6) Carefully remove the squash from the microwave and cut open (watch for the steam that will come out), then de-seed the squash with a fork.

7) Set seeds aside for roasting if you want–they make for a great crunchy snack!

8) Fill each half of the squash withe the Noodle mixture.

9) Enjoy!

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What’s your favorite part of eating seasonal produce?

Shishito Pepper Rice Stuffed Squash

I was beyond excited to see a box of Shishito peppers in my CSA box this week! I got so many fresh goodies, but these peppers are so trendy right now…so of course I have been wanting to try them. I’ve heard they are particularly fun because they are mostly mild, but every once in a while a super-spicy pepper sneaks in! I decided this called for a new recipe; I looked up a few recipes and found that the peppers pair well with garlic and ginger. I had a few delicata squash lying around from my Trader Joe’s expedition, so soon a seasonal idea was brewing…

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I have seen great results from recipes that blister the peppers on high heat, and luckily my trusty air fryer heated those peppers up in about 8 minutes!

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Look at how toasty and charred they got?! My favorite. I had to eat a few right then and there–these peppers have a great mild flavor with notes of citrus–I definitely see what the fuss is all about.

I use the ultimate squash life hack–always pre-cook in the microwave! I swear this trick has saved me hours of agonizing while attempting to chop a raw squash, plus it is faster and uses less energy. So I microwaved my delicata squash (whole) for about 4 minutes, before de-seeding it and stuffing it with my rice mixture.

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Look how preeetttyyy

The last step involved one final cook through to make sure the squash was fully tender, which also let the flavors in the rice mixture come together even more and crisp up on top.

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Yum, I’d say it turned out pretty well! I’ll let you know how it heats up as leftovers at work.

 

 Ingredients:
1 bag miracle rice
1 tbsp liquid aminos
1 tbsp pickled ginger
1 delicata squash
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp coconut oil
6-8 blistered shishito peppers

Directions:

Roast shishito peppers at 425 or air fry them until crispy (about 8 minutes).

Place whole delicata squash in microwave for 4 minutes.

Prepare Miracle rice according to directions on the bag. Combine prepared rice with coconut oil, liquid aminos, garlic, pickled ginger, and chopped roasted peppers.

After cutting open the delicata squash lengthwise (be careful of the steam escaping), de-seed the squash and stuff it with the rice mixture. I was able to generously fill both halves of my delicata squash.

Place the stuffed delicata squash back in the over (or air fryer) for approximately 10 minutes at 400 degrees or until the top looks crisped and browned. Enjoy!

Use code HANNAHOCTOBER for a discount when you order from miracle noodle 🙂

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Have you tried Shishito peppers? Do you stay on top of the foodie trends?

Vegan Sprout Pad Thai

Since moving to California, I’ve seen different varieties of veggies available. We definitely had bean sprouts available in the South, but they are in every grocery store here–which means I was inspired to use them! The key to bean sprouts (in my opinion) is to lightly cook them so they retain their crunchy texture. I came up with this dish one evening when I didn’t want to use the oven and heat up my apartment.

Ingredients:

1 bag Miracle Noodles

1.5 cups bean sprouts

1.5 cups chopped broccoli

3 tbsp Better Body Foods PB Fit (can sub with 1 tbsp peanut butter)

3 tbsp liquid aminos

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

1) Prepare @miraclenoodles according to directions on bag.

2) Combine broccoli and bean sprouts in a large bowl.

3) Top bean sprouts and broccoli with hot @miraclenoodles.

4) In a separate bowl, combine PB fit, liquid aminos, garlic, and ginger.

5) Pour mixture evenly over Noodle/veggie mix and toss well.

6) Enjoy hot or cold! I enjoyed mine by wrapping the mixture in sesame seed soy wrappers.

Use code HANNAHAUGUST for a discount when you order from Miracle Noodle.

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What’s your favorite no-oven recipe?

Some Bay Area Eats (Part 1)

I moved to the Bay Area about a month ago and time has absolutely flown by! It’s been a hectic, fun experience and I’ve had the chance to try out quite a few different restaurants! I’ve found a few gems, and a few I wouldn’t recommend…

1. I’ll start with the not so good. While this isn’t a picture of the actual food, the food from The Third Eye Restaurant and Bar was not photogenic OR tasty. I think my sister enjoyed her Momo, but the other dishes, including tandoori chicken and an eggplant dish, were awful. We were surprised because the restaurant had fairly good reviews.

2. Maverick Jack’s caught my eye immediately; the building is right on the train tracks, has yellow trim, and looks like an old train station (which it is!). Luckily the food lived up to the cute look. The menu includes an assortment of interesting drinks and milkshakes–the strawberry lemonade was delicious and was made with plenty of freshly mashed strawberries. I ordered the southwestern salad, shown below, but everything was delicious.

3. We arrived in San Francisco with about 20 minutes to eat before our play started so this pick was based mostly on convenience, but it was delicious! After Osha was tasty and quick. I enjoyed my sweet and sour mushroom soup and we split fresh, tasty spring rolls.

4. I went out to eat with my cousins and they picked a great place in Burlingame–Steelhead Brewing Company. I am obsessed with jicama so I had to go with the southwestern salad, and it was a good choice! So fresh and so much food. Also, if you’re a fan of shoe string French fries–this is the place for you!

6. This Greek place Souvla was AMAZING. My friend and I spent like an hour deciding where to eat, and this meal made every minute worth it. I ordered the warm roasted chicken salad with fennel and she got the lamb gyro. Check out those pickled veggies!

Expect more good eats to come!

Southwestern Superfood Tuna Burgers

I’m just starting my first full time job so it’s time for full on adulting. I’ve always been a fan of meal prep to decrease stress during a busy week so I’ve been trying to come up with new, budget friendly lunch ideas. Our office goes out to eat together once I week, so I definitely want to keep it thrifty when I pack.

Protein is usually the most expensive ingredient for a meal so I usually keep it to tuna, eggs, and plant based options. Tuna by itself is not the most appealing so I decided to try an experiment: flavor packed tuna burgers! I can see endless options, but this flavor combo has been my favorite so far.

Ingredients:
-1 can tuna
-1/2 scoop Designer Protein green superfoods (Use code HANNAH20 for a discount!)
-1 tsp paprika
-1 tsp cumin
-2 tbsp egg whites

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed.
2. Heat a non-stick or well greased griddle to 400.
3. Divide tuna mixture into two patties on the heated griddle.
4. Let sizzle for 2-3 minutes.

5. Carefully flip burgers over with a large spatula and let sizzle for 1-2 minutes.
6. Remove burgers from griddle.
7. Enjoy on top of a salad or on a bun!

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What flavor combinations would you try?

Spaghetti Squash Casserole (GF)

I love coming up with new recipe ideas and I’ve recently been on a Greek yogurt kick. I had a spaghetti squash on hand and opted to make a casserole dish. The Greek yogurt added the perfect creamy, rich texture while keeping it healthy and full of protein! My dad was a huge fan too (he really loved the addition of bacon). 

Ingredients:
2 tbsp egg whites
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 small spaghetti squash
1 tsp minced garlic 
1/4c Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp bacon bits
1 bag Morningstar farms meat substitute 

1) Cook spaghetti squash in microwave; simply microwave at medium power for 4-7 minutes depending on size. I cooked our small one pound squash for about 4 minutes. 

2) Mix together Greek yogurt, egg whites, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, and bacon bits until well combined.

3) Sautée Morningstar farms crumbles according to directions on the bag until thoroughly cooked.


4) Cut open the spaghetti squash and scoop out the inside of the squash and shred well with a fork until no big chunks of squash remain.

5) In a large bowl, combine the cooked spaghetti squash and Greek yogurt mixture. After thoroughly mixed, add in the crumbles.


6) Pour the whole mixture into a greased large casserole dish. 


7) Bake for 30-45 minutes at 325. 


Enjoy! This freezes very well so feel free to make a big batch and then freeze one meal portions for lunches or extra busy nights. 


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Have you ever used greek yogurt in a casserole?

  

Miraculous Summer Shrimp Alfredo

The perfect refreshing summer meal– Miracle Noodles shrimp alfredo! I was craving seafood and a light pasta recipe sounded perfect. I love the rich, nutty flavor of nutritional yeast (plus the great health benefits) and it really adds more depth to a basic alfredo sauce. If you’re not used to using nutritional yeast, I recommend you start out with a bit less to start, then add more to taste.  If you want to order Miracle Noodles, use code HANNAHJULY for a discount of 10% off!
Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of fettuccine Miracle Noodles
  • 1/4c alfredo sauce
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2tsp Amore garlic paste
  • 1/2 c eggplant, roasted
  • 1/2c cauliflower, roasted
  • 5-9 shrimp .

Directions:
1. Prepare Miracle Noodles according to directions.
2. Combine alfredo sauce, nutritional yeast, Amore garlic paste, Italian seasoning, eggplant and cauliflower on stove and heat in a shallow sauce pan until warmed.
3. Steam shrimp.
4. Combine Miracle Noodles, alfredo sauce mixture, and shrimp and enjoy. I garnished my bowl with fresh basil straight out of my mother’s garden!

Decadent PB Banana Bread (GF, Dairy-Free Option) 

I have been a bit stressed in the past few weeks as I anticipated my big cross country move. As the days dwindled, what did I do? No, not pack.

I baked and cooked endlessly! Luckily, this resulted in some new recipes and tasty treats, but I can’t say it was helpful for getting my suitcases packed…


I had three very ripe bananas sitting on the counter so I decided to go with a simple banana bread option.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3c Better Body Foods PB Fit
  • 1/3c Better Body Foods coconut flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • Stevia, to taste
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1/3c Chocolate Chips (choose Dairy Free if you want; Lily’s Sweets makes great vegan chocolate chips)
  • 1/3c chocolate peanut butter (I used Wild Friends–use another type if you’re going the dairy free route)


1) Preheat oven to 325.
2) In a large bowl, combine bananas, egg, and vanilla.
3) Add in coconut flour, PB Fit, baking powder, and a dash of cinnamon.
4) Stir mixture until combined.
5) Add stevia to taste.
6) Stir in chocolate chips.
7) Pour batter into a greased loaf pan.
8) Swirl chocolate peanut butter on top of loaf for extra peanut butter flavor!
9) Bake for 35-40 minutes or until top is slightly browned and firm to the touch. The edges of the bread should begin pulling away as well.


10) Let loaf sit in pan for 10-15 minutes.
11) Let cool on a baking rack.
12) Enjoy!

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Do you always make the same banana bread recipe? Is peanut butter a must for you?

Smoky Seasonal Veggie-packed Rice (GF, Dairy-Free) 

I was craving something smoky, creamy, and different the other night. I had gone to the farmer’s market earlier that day and found some wonderful yellow zucchini that I was dying to use.
I started out with the sauce and the meal quickly evolved from there.


Ingredients:
3 tbsp almond milk
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
1 packet NuNaturals stevia
1 tsp liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
Dash salt
3-4 threads Saffron
1/2 tsp Paprika
Salt, to taste
1/2 Portabello Mushroom, chopped
1/2c Yellow zucchini, chopped
Miracle rice, prepared according to directions on the bag

Directions:

1) In a small sauce pan, combine almond milk, liquid smoke, liquid aminos, stevia, saffron, paprika and let simmer.

2) Chop zucchini and portobello mushroom into thin slices. Set aside.

3) Prepare miracle rice according to the directions on the bag. Stir sauce mixture occasionally as it begins to thicken at a slow simmer.

4) Add chopped zucchini and mushroom to the sauce, turn up the heat to medium-low.


5) Continue stirring mixture and after vegetables are nearly cooked, add in miracle rice.

6) Stir mixture well. Add a dash of almond milk and liquid aminos to taste if you need more liquid (be sure to add more liquid slowly).

7) Enjoy!

I’m sure this dish would be delicious with a wide variety of vegetables. I also thought of adding shrimp for an extra kick of protein. If you want to try Miracle Noodle, use code HANNAHJULY for a discount!

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Do you go to local farmer’s markets? What inspires your dishes?